Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sometimes you can't win

Even when you do.

Caps won in Philly 5-3. Yippie. But the Caps let in a few at the end, due in large part to 4 consecutive penalties against the Caps in the third. I wasn't able to see the calls clearly from the par, so I won't comment on their validity, but it certainly seemed that the refs wanted to the home crowd to have something to cheer about.

So people are complaining about the Caps going into a shell in the third and not playing Ovechkin. Looking at the shift chart, Ovy entered the period on the ice on the third period at the 19:31 mark , then went to the bench after a full shift. The second line was next with Klepis taking a penalty. Ovechkin doesn't usually play on the penalty kill unit. Ovechkin then went out for a shift after that penalty was over, but Chris Clark took a penalty, ending their time at 39 seconds. Then a penalty came against Heward. Another penalty by Muir while on the PK, takes us down inside the final five minutes, and we all saw what happened the night before inside of five minutes.

Coach Hanlon had no reason to put Ovy out there in the last five minutes of the game, so he left him on the bench while the stronger defensive players whittled the clock down to victory.

So Ovechkin ended up with 2:28 ice time in the third. Now maybe coach Hanlon was trying to rest Alex, it's entirely possible. Maybe coach Hanlon didn't want Ovy to get hurt in the last five minutes, it's entirely possible. Yet some people feel they were robbed because they didn't get to see Alex go for the hat trick.

Personally, I'm just mad that Ben Clymer choose to play responsible with 20 seconds left instead of going for his own hat trick with the empty net.

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